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Steve Moffat
Limelight, January 2015

Thielemann is authoritative and punctilious throughout, setting excellent tempi and showing us how well he absorbed his work experience jobs with Karajan in Berlin and Barenboim at Bayreuth.

…the performances are magnificent. © 2015 Limelight Magazine Read complete review

Chris Morgan
Scene Magazine, March 2014

For fans and collectors of Austrian composer Johannes Brahms’ music, it’s hard to get much better than C Major’s…three-DVD set of live performances featuring German orchestra Staatskapelle Dresden under the direction of principal conductor Christian Thielemann. As viewers watch Thielemann guide the orchestra’s impeccable performance of the sombre yet celebratory fourth symphony or difficult late passages in the first, one cannot help but acknowledge that the conductor brilliantly accomplishes all that he set out to do. © 2014 Scene Magazine Read complete review

Richard Haskell
The WholeNote, February 2014

Sets of the complete Brahms symphonies on DVD are not all that common, so this one featuring the Dresden Staatskapelle with Christian Thielemann is indeed a welcome arrival.

From the moment [Thielemann] raises his baton to a most appreciative Japanese audience in the Symphony No 1, it’s clear to everyone that this music holds a special place for both him and his orchestra. The ensemble invokes a deeply romantic spirit throughout, from the tempestuous opening movement to the jubilant finale.

In contrast to the tragically noble character of Brahms’ First Symphony, the Second is all placid geniality, so much so that it has been often referred to as his “Pastoral.” Recorded in the Semperoper in Dresden…the orchestra demonstrates a keen clarity and finely judged balance.

One of the high points for me in the set (and there are many) is the famous third movement of Symphony No 3. For this poignant and wistful music, Thielemann coaxes a luxuriant sound from the players, the mellow brass perfectly complementing the warmth of the strings—and principal horn Erich Markwart deserves kudos for his hauntingly lovely solo.

Special mention must also be made of the exemplary camerawork in both venues. The shots of both Thielemann and members of the orchestra provide a live presence and further enhance these superb performances. It’s been said that Thielemann has the ability to make familiar repertoire sound new again and he certainly succeeds in doing so here. This set is a must-have for any serious music lover, a sublime combination of wonderful music magnificently performed. Highly recommended. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review, February 2014

These are live recordings…and they offer much of the excitement of live performances without any excessive playing-to-a-live-audience elements that can sometimes intrude. Thielemann’s Brahms Symphonies are among the best available, his thoughtful approach and highly knowledgeable handling of the scores making it possible to see once again just why these works are so central to the standard classical-music repertoire. © 2014 Read complete review

Robert Benson, February 2014

These are grand, big-scale performances of remarkable power and beauty, with particular attention to dynamics. The orchestra is superb, and their glowing sounds have been captured to perfection by both engineering teams. Camera work is right on…these performances demand attention. Highly recommended! © 2014 Read complete review

W. Stephen Habington
La Scena Musicale, February 2014

In the performances recorded here, the Dresdeners are second to none. This set will be an essential acquisition for the [Thielemann]’s legion of admirers…These are performances that deserve to be seen as well as heard for the dedicated playing and enthusiasm of the musicians. The bonus disc is worthwhile if explanations of the interpretations are called for. There are splendid imagery and sound… © 2014 La Scena Musicale Read complete review

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